Glenis Willmott, MEP for the East Midlands and leader of the Labour Party in Europe will chair a meeting of the Health Subcommittee of the European Parliament this Wednesday the 12th of October, in Brussels, where evidence will be heard on the use of dogs which detect the early signs of the onset of an epileptic episode.
Over half a million people in the UK suffer from epilepsy (around 1 in 100 people). Anyone can develop epilepsy at any time in their life: The onset of Epilepsy can happen in all ages, races and social classes. Epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in children and people over 65. There are over 40 types of epilepsy, so just knowing that a person ‘has epilepsy’ does not tell you very much about their epilepsy and the type of seizures they have.*
Mrs Willmott said:
“An epileptic fit is a very frightening experience for the sufferer and there is often no warning of when it will happen. These specially trained dogs can quite literally be life savers”
“The danger from an epileptic fit is not actually the condition itself, it is from the environment in which the fit takes place. Patients will often smash their heads against objects or fall down stairs. These dogs can predict an epileptic fit up to an hour before an attack happens, therefore allowing the patient to get to a place of safety”
“The benefits to sufferers of epilepsy are vast, however, there are benefits to the NHS too, which saves money and time because the patient doesn’t have to have an ambulance called or make a hospital visit”